A new emergency veterinary hospital centered around the idea of transparency and customer service opened this week at 87 Kent Ave.

Veterinary Emergency Group, also known as VEG, now has 27 locations nationwide and serves as Williamsburg’s first veterinary facility tailored specifically towards animal emergencies.

The reason Williamsburg in particular was chosen as the latest VEG location is due, at least in part, to the rise in pandemic pets and pet-friendliness of the neighborhood in general.

“A lot of people [in North Brooklyn] have pets, so we just wanted to provide a resource for them. There are a lot of general practices, but there isn’t really anything like us; we’re a 24-hour emergency facility. The only thing that we do is emergency, which is the thing that kind of separates us from other types of hospitals,” Dr. Wasi Ashraf, medical director of the Williamsburg facility, explained.

While the neighborhood is home to a handful of veterinary offices, many of the closest animal hospitals are over an hour away via public transportation and feature long wait times. By serving as an emergency-only hospital, VEG also hopes to provide some relief for overrun facilities and providers.


“There are some specialty hospitals, but they’re actually pretty far out. And those hospitals are specialty and they do some emergency, but it’s not 100% emergency like we are. So we fill a very specific niche. We want to create a space here where we can help people and their pets when they need it most,” Dr. Ashraf said. “The veterinary community in general, a lot of emergency hospitals and general practices have become overwhelmed because of huge surges and pet ownership. So we have a model that we aren’t turning away anyone. We try to find a way to say yes, so we fill this emergency niche, but we’re also here to support our general practitioners.”

What sets VEG apart from other practices in the area — and animal hospitals in general — is their dedication to keeping families and pets together throughout appointments and emergency stays. The 24/7 facility is dedicated to allowing pet parents to speak to licensed veterinarians right away and skip paperwork or lobby wait times during emergencies. The hospital also features open-floor plans enabling freedom of movement that allows pet parents to stay with their pets during all phases of treatment, which also means more communication between doctors and visitors.

“We’ve kind of revolutionized the way emergency medicine is practiced, because in the past, historically, a lot of people have had to be separated from their pets  in these really critical moments. So the pets are stressed out, people are stressed out and they just don’t know what’s going on,” Dr. Ashraf described. “We don’t want to separate pets from their people; another thing that we’re really passionate about is keeping the families together. That is the core reason behind why we allow everyone to be in the treatment area and have full transparency.”

Overall, VEG’s mission is simple: Give both pets and their humans quality emergency care when they need it most.

“Part of VEG’s vision is to treat pets and people the way we’d like to be treated. We often say that we treat pets like people and people like human beings,” Dr. Ashraf said.

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